Sara Besche
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Get to Know…Henley!

By Ali Baker, in Uncategorized

As we barrel through 2018, we continue to expand our footprint in Richmond, adding new communities to our list of places we build. One of our latest additions, Henley, is one of those one-of-a-kind neighborhoods that you’ll fall in love with instantly. Beautiful, stately homes set on large, sprawling 1-acre lots in a picturesque setting situated near the best of the best in Henrico. Sound too good to be true? Don’t worry, it’s the real deal. We’re thrilled to be building new homes in Glen Allen, VA, and we can’t wait to show you what we have in store for Henley. But who better to give you the complete rundown then our Community Sales Manager at Henley, Jennifer.

Marketing and sales talk aside, what do you think makes Henley so unique? 

Henley is home to some of the most beautiful and architecturally diverse houses in RVA!  Besides being a stunning community, Henley is located right in the heart of Glen Allen, just minutes to Short Pump.  With Schell Brothers now being in Glen Allen, the West End finally has a semi-custom builder that can offer the best of both worlds:  flexibility and options, with tried and true processes that save time and money.

How about the vibe of the neighborhood, what should one expect when they call Henley ‘home.’ 

It’s such an amazing thing to be both so close to everything that you want to be, and yet feel so far away when you are back home.  Henley is a place where your entire family can feel at home.  Enough space to accommodate multiple generations with the open and functional layouts you desire.  Gorgeous streetscapes with beautiful sprawling homes at every turn.  Each and every home is truly unique.

Let’s talk location – what’s the best of the best near Henley? Local schools? Favorite restaurants? Nearby things to do?

Check out and I promise you will NOT be disappointed!  The elementary school is within walking distance, and Short Pump Middle and Deep Run High are some of the top ranked public schools in the state!

Hungry?  Every cuisine you can think of is right around the corner.  Anokha is my personal favorite in the area.  I could live off of their appetizers and naan alone, especially the vegetable samosas.  If you’re looking for a casual upscale meal with great wine, Coopers Hawk is fantastic.  It’s great for a date night or special celebration.

Need groceries?  Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Wegmans, and much much more are all just a short drive from your house.

Henley and Glen Allen are just a short drive to Richmond, and convenient to 95 and 288, so day trips like Charlottesville, DC, and more are quick and easy.  If you want to stay around the area, Glen Allen has a winery, nature parks, museums, spas, golf courses…. I could go on!  You’ll never be bored!

Henley features exclusive, 1-acre estate lots, tell us a little bit about these spacious, beautiful lots!

Not only is every home site one acre, but most are private and nestled in trees, with cul-de-sac lots available as well as a variety of orientations to capture the sunlight at the perfect angle you desire.

Describe Henley in 3 words:




Let’s switch gears and talk industry trends. What are people looking for right now in a new home in Richmond? 

People are continuing to fall in love with our enormous kitchen islands and outdoor spaces.  These may be new “trends” in some markets, but we have been perfecting them for years!  Our islands come in a variety of sizes and configurations, but our command center islands that seat 6 are one of the most popular features in our homes.  Our courtyards and deck spaces allow homeowners to extend their homes and enjoy our fantastic Virginia weather!

How about some fan favorites so far in our Richmond model homes? 

Aside from the kitchen and outdoor spaces that I’ve already mentioned, people are loving our open and inviting spaces on every level!  Whether it’s the 2-story light filled great room surrounded with ultra-energy efficient picture windows, a 2nd floor loft space perfect for reading areas, homework time, or an extra place for the kids to hang out, or the basement rec room, complete with wet bar, media room, and maybe even an extra bedroom, people love how smart the use of space is in our homes.

In your opinion, what sets Schell Brothers apart from other builders in the area?

In the West End, you’ll either find production builders with cookie cutter houses and smaller lots, or custom builders with overwhelming options and no predictability with cost.  Neither one of these options is taking even half of the energy saving measures into their build process that we are.

The fact that we are semi-custom gives purchasers the best of both worlds.  We have gorgeous, expertly designed floor plans, and tried and true processes in place to ensure a smooth building process and experience.  We are very transparent about pricing, our process, and options, so there aren’t any last minute surprises.  Being semi-custom gives us the flexibility to be able to work with buyers to accommodate needs that may not be a standard option, and our expert designers are available to help with our vast array of finishes to collaborate and make beautiful spaces.

Other builders, custom or not, aren’t building homes the same way that we are, and especially not as a standard option.  Our Schellter Advanced Building Science means you’ll have the strongest, most energy efficient home on the market in Richmond. 

If you had to pick a favorite floor plan, which one would it be and why? 

I LOVE the Waterford and I’m so excited that it will be our model in Henley!  From 4-8 bedrooms and up to 7495 sq ft, I love the flexibility and options in the plan.  It’s enough space for your entire family, and the courtyard area and optional 2nd floor decks and balconies allow you to extend the space in your home and enjoy your private 1-acre homesite.  The windows on the great room are so beautiful, bringing a ton of natural light in to the open floor plan.


Ready to schedule a visit? Interested in learning more? Simply click here. Or, reach out to Jennifer at (804) 402-4505. We can’t wait to show you around:)


Best Winter Activities at the Delaware Beaches

By Ali Baker, in All Communities

Oh winter. The shorter days and the colder weather can be a struggle for many of us, leading to a nagging wish for those beautiful spring and summer days to arrive sooner rather than later (we’re looking at you Punxsutawney Phil and your 6 more weeks of winter…). Despite the mid-winter itch that so many of us are feeling, there are actually many, many reasons to embrace the winter months here in our resort towns and revel in the winter activities at the Delaware Beaches.

Off-season Specials (and off-season crowds): That’s right, the absence of summer means the absence of summer crowds. Less traffic, free parking, and no waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant – woohoo! It also means off-season specials are on tap at your favorite local spots, from weekly specials at Summer House in Rehoboth to irresistible dinner deals at Bluecoast in Bethany Beach, there are countless options for scoring a delicious deal this month. And for a full rundown of the best deals at the beach, check out this exhaustive list.

Getting Outdoors: You may not have wanted to venture outside during those super cold days we experienced at the beginning of the year, but our typical Mid-Atlantic weather has returned, which means plenty of sunny days in the 40s or 50s. No, it’s not beach weather, but throw on a cozy scarf, hat and jacket and you’re all set for an outdoor adventure. The best part? The gorgeous local parks, beaches, and hiking trails are just as beautiful during the winter months, but with the added benefit of having them all to yourself! If you haven’t noticed how breathtaking our Coastal Delaware sunrises and sunsets are, than you are seriously missing out. Get outside, take in the crisp, fresh air, and revel in a sunrise or sunset – you won’t regret it.

Arts…: For your local art fix, look no further than the Rehoboth Art League. Not only does the local organization feature an amazing lineup of events and exhibits year-round, but they also host classes that will keep you busy and inspired. Sketch group, pottery studio, writer’s group, jewelry making, mommy & me classes…you name it, they’ve got it.

& Entertainment: Along with local arts, enjoy local theater by way of Clear Space Theatre. Offering classes and shows, it’s the perfect cure for the wintertime blues. Check them out this weekend, February 9-11, as Clear Space Theatre presents ‘Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery’. Or head a little further inland to the beloved Milton Theatre where you’ll find an array of music, movies, comedy, and theatre.

Tax-Free Shopping: By now you’ve probably heard the good news about tax-free shopping in Delaware; after all, it’s a pretty sweet deal for our fellow shopaholics. With fewer crowds this time of year, it’s the perfect opportunity to score the best deals on your favorite name brands (tax free!) at the Tanger Outlets in Rehoboth. And with President’s Day Weekend just around the corner, you can bet there will be some fantastic sales worth venturing out for.

Day Trip Adventures: Still bored? How about hopping in the car and taking a trip to one of the charming local towns across the Delmarva Peninsula. Just over the state line you’ll find ‘America’s Coolest Small Town,’ Berlin, but there’s also Easton, St. Michaels and Oxford not far from home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Or take this time to explore the towns you drive thru regularly but never fully explore. Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Lewes, Milton, Milford, Fenwick Island…all of our coastal towns are teeming with hidden gems for you to discover, from local eateries to eclectic shops to historical stops along the way.

Drink Up: For the beer lovers out there, Delaware is overflowing with local breweries to visit and tour, including Dogfish Head, Mispillion, 16 Mile, Big Oyster, Dewey Beer Co, and Crooked Hammock. That’s a lot of beer to sample…

Ready to get out an explore all that Coastal Delaware has to offer? While you’re out an about, feel free to pop by our new home communities for a tour – or to say hi to our sales team out at their beautifully decorated model homes:)

Get to Know…Magnolia Green!

By Ali Baker, in Uncategorized

It’s been a whirlwind year at Magnolia Green, particularly since launching sales in our first neighborhood within the community, Palmilla, this past spring. Two new model homes and a long list of excited homeowners later, we’re headed into 2018 full steam ahead. There’s lots on the horizon for this amazing, master-planned community, so we’ve tasked our Community Sales Manager, Kaylie, with giving us the rundown on what makes this community so special, including the latest trends she’s seeing right now in new home selections.

Marketing and sales talk aside, what do you think makes Magnolia Green so unique? 

It genuinely feels like home. When you first drive into the community you see residents all around you. Whether they are walking their dog, riding their bike, or even just taking a stroll on the sidewalk, you get a real sense of community. The developer has done such an incredible job by making this neighborhood somewhere enticing for people to live. It’s not just a “neighborhood” it truly is somewhere to plant roots and stay for a long time. It gives people the opportunity to purchase somewhere that they can grow while the community grows as well.   

This is a well-established, master planned community with a ton of awesome amenities; what are a few favorites that you think our future homeowners will love the most? 

The Aquatic Center was a huge hit when it first opened this past summer. It really expands on that “resort” style feel within the community. The pirate ship playground that sits directly out front of the pool was actually built in California and shipped to Magnolia Green. It looks like it belongs in a storybook and really brings character to the community. All of the kids in the neighborhood rave about it. My personal favorite is the Golf Clubhouse that just finished up in October. It is more beautiful than anyone ever expected. Not only on the outside, but the inside as well (and the food is amazing too!). It’s nice for our homeowners to have so many amazing places they can hang out, get together, and relax.

Sales have been pretty incredible since launching at Magnolia Green, what are people loving about the community and/or our Schell Homes?

I’ve found that Palmilla has brought something incredibly unique to Magnolia Green…something that truly attracts just about everyone. From people wanting to down size and be in a one level home from people looking for a two-story with more space, we have the ability to offer all of these things. They are loving the style of our floor plans as well, the large windows and tall ceilings are something most builders have gone away from in recent years and we are really bringing it back. Our proximity to the golf clubhouse has been a huge hit too. It’s nice to be able to go enjoy dinner within walking distance!

How about location – Magnolia Green seemingly offers everything you might need right in the community, but what else is nearby? Local schools? Favorite restaurants? Nearby things to do?

The schools for the community are just a short commute, Winterpock Elementary is just right across the street and Cosby High School is a short car ride along with Tomahawk Middle. The great news, is that there has been talk of an elementary school being built right here within the community at some point in the next few years! In terms of restaurants, a few favorites nearby are The Boathouse, Glory Days, and Longhorn. Chipotle, Panera, and Taziki’s are awesome spots for a quick bite to eat as well. The Swift Creek Reservoir is right around the corner and is always a fun spot to go kayaking or canoeing. Pocahontas State Park is just a short drive if you’re looking for somewhere to bike or hike. 

Describe Magnolia Green in 3 words:

Inviting, Lively, and Innovative.

Or in the words of Tom Page (Manager for iStar – Magnolia Green’s developer)

“Coolest. Place. Ever.”

Let’s switch gears and talk industry trends. What are people looking for right now in a new home in Richmond? 

I find that most people are looking for an open floor plan that simply just functions well for their family. A home that has unique features and a bit of separation in certain spaces but still has that open area that everyone can get together and enjoy time together. The other thing people are looking for are outdoor spaces. People are wanting to spend just as much time outside as they are inside. Our courtyards, screen porches, and covered porches have really been a big hit.

How about some fan favorites so far in our Richmond model homes? 

The basement in our Whimbrel model has been a huge hit. Welled basements haven’t been as popular in our area so we are really creating a new trend. People are realizing that it is more beneficial to build “down” rather than “up.” 50% of our sales in Palmilla have had basements, whether welled or walk out! The other big favorite would have to be our large islands, hands down. Folks are absolutely loving how big our islands are in our kitchens. It gives people so much more space for seating along with room to really entertain. Not to mention it’s always the perfect spot for the kids to post up and do homework!  

In your opinion, what sets Schell Brothers apart from other builders in the area?

The construction of our homes in general speaks for itself. People are recognizing that we are transparent in terms of how we build our homes and they are loving the building techniques. So many people have said that when they walk into our models they just “feel different” and it really has to do with the way we build. Not only are we setting ourselves apart by our homes, but by our culture as well. People are catching on that we aren’t just here to build homes. We are building relationships with all of these future homeowners and it is turning out to be something very special. Our process is unlike any other builder’s and in my opinion we really are proving we’re here in RVA to make people happy.

If you had to pick a favorite floor plan, which one would it be and why? 

I would have to say personally my favorite would have to be The Bridgeport floor plan. I absolutely love the windows in the two-story great room and the secondary owner’s suite on the first floor. The elevations are so unique and are proving to be real head turners as well. I’m a mud room lover, so when I saw The Bridgeport’s gigantic mud room for the first time I knew it would be the next home I personally build!

Final thoughts?

Magnolia Green truly has created something here in our area that no one else ever has before. You truly could live here your entire life and never have to move.

Get to Know The Highlands!

By Ali Baker, in Uncategorized

The Highlands

There’s lots to celebrate in the new year, including the news that we are now selling in The Highlands! Located in Chesterfield, Virginia, it may seem cliche to say ‘this community is unlike any other’ but it truly is. From the 65-acre community lake, to the expansive homesites, to those awesome amenities, The Highlands is soon to be on your radar (if it’s not already). But we’ll let Leigh fill you in on our new homes in The Highlands, including favorite floor plans, must-have selections, and our current incentives.

Marketing and sales talk aside, what do you think makes The Highlands so unique? 

There is something special about The Highlands that makes you feel at home just driving through the community and taking in its natural beauty.  The community is located in the heart of Chesterfield County with a wooded surrounding that provides a serene sense of community.

This is a well-established, master planned community with a ton of awesome amenities, what are a few favorites that you think our future homeowners will love the most?

How could I only choose just a few favorites with the number of amenities The Highlands has to offer? There is a 65-acre community lake that is perfect for fishing, paddling and sailing, or you can take a swim in the Junior Olympic pool or splash-park! You can also enjoy a round of golf on The Highlands’ 18 hole championship golf course. There are also plenty of walking and hiking trails throughout the community.

There is a little bit of everything for all ages!

And how about those lot sizes! 1-5 acres?

The Highlands and Lake Margaret both offer acre-plus homesites perfect for you and your family to enjoy. Imagine what you could do with all of that space . . . The Highlands offers both privacy and relaxation in your own backyard!  And in Lake Margaret, enjoy your acre with no yard work…even better!

How about location – The Highlands seemingly offers everything you might need right in the community, but what else is nearby? Local schools? Favorite restaurants? Nearby things to do? 

It is just minutes to Pocohantas State Park which is perfect for all the nature lovers! 

The Highlands is a convenient commute to downtown Richmond and all the shopping and dining that Chesterfield and Chester have to offer. Route 288, Chippenham Parkway and I-95 make it easy to get around town!

One of my favorite local restaurants is Riptides Seafood Restaurant off Iron Bridge Rd.  The best part about it is that they are the same owners of The Highlands’ very own restaurant, The Reserve! If you haven’t been there yet— you are missing out.

Describe The Highlands in 3 adjectives: 




Schell is building throughout The Highlands, but also in Lake Margaret. What’s the difference? 

Lake Margaret is the maintenance-free, 55+ section nestled towards the back of The Highlands. It offers large, secluded homesites with the ease of maintenance-free living! Lake Margaret also has its very own clubhouse within the section perfect for neighborhood get-togethers. The best part is the Bocce Ball court.

Let’s switch gears and talk industry trends. What are people looking for right now in a new home in Richmond? 

Our basements have been a fan favorite for sure! Whether folks are trying to downsize, looking to use that extra space for storing, or interested in having an additional place for entertaining— people are really noticing the advantages of a basement. We have countless options for all of the variety of uses.  The best part… we INCLUDE a basement foundation with our homes in The Highlands and Lake Margaret!

In your opinion, what sets Schell Brothers apart from other builders in the area? 

Related to the home, our Schellter™ Advanced Building Science technologies provides the ultimate high performance home for our homeowners. People walk into our models and say they can just feel the difference in our quality!

What really sets us apart, though, is our team of employees.  We foster a culture of happiness . . . without a doubt and this will transfer into an incredible homebuilding experience for our buyers! We are all so passionate about spreading and creating happiness for ourselves and our homeowners that gives them an unparalleled home building experience.

If you had to pick a favorite floor plan, which one would it be and why? 

This is tough but if I had to choose just one, I would pick the Whimbrel floor plan! It is not your typical “ranch-style” plan that you may be used to seeing in Richmond. I have folks that weren’t even considering a ranch style floor plan that walk into the Whimbrel and immediately fall in love. It is so versatile and has plenty of options to make it your own.  It is hard to find a ranch style plan that gives you that open-concept feel but the Whimbrel does just that— it feels cozy and open at the same time!

Final thoughts?

As we open our Kingfisher model home in the first part of 2018, I’m so excited to share our Grand Opening Incentives with you!  The included unfinished basement combined with $20,000 in savings off the price is truly AMAZING.  I’m so excited for our model to open, but until then… you should take advantage of our incentive package… it won’t last long!

Interested in learning more? Simply click here.

Want to take a tour? Ready to schedule a visit? Give Leigh a call at (804) 295-4906.


Get to Know Sawgrass North

By Ali Baker, in Sawgrass North

It may sound cliche, but we truly mean it when we say that each of our communities has it’s own personality, which is why if you’re looking to settle at the Delaware Beaches in a new home community, we’re positive that we have one that is right for you. At Sawgrass North, the Rehoboth Beach address is a major appeal for home buyers, but that’s not the only reason to fall head over heels in love with this luxury gated community. And who better to tell us all about it than Grace!

Marketing and sales talk aside, what do you think makes Sawgrass North so unique? 

My location of course. It is probably the best non age-restricted community location we offer. That is, if being close to the action and downtown beach areas is important to you. I think that that the term *close to the beach* is overused in this area entirely, and people don’t really understand how important location is because sometimes a 20 minute ride to the beach can turn into a 40 minute ride to the beach, and at that point you might as well live in Bridgeville (sorry Mom and Dad). And it’s not just being 5 miles away from being toes in the sand, it’s being relative to things to do at the beach—and not just Rehoboth, Lewes and Bethany too. We are also in a location that is positioned off Route 1 as such so that you don’t need to get on any major highways to get to every day conveniences. Everything you need is a mile away from you, away from the traffic.

Sawgrass North is touted for having ‘double the amenities,’ but what does that actually mean? Which ones would you say are the most popular with the homeowners?

Sawgrass as a whole, has two clubhouses and two pools, tennis courts, tiki bars, grills and basketball courts. It’s really nice that being that we are on the smaller side in terms of community size, to have the amenities that we do. The favorite is definitely the North Clubhouse and especially the pool in the summer time!

Speaking of the Sawgrass North homeowners, tell us a little about the vibe of the community out there.

My homeowners are AMAZING. They are such a cool group of people that are all so very different and I see them out and about in Rehoboth ALL THE TIME—there is no hiding from them.  If I am at the beach, I’ll probably see Steve heading to the inlet with his surfboard on his truck, or Doug and Pam at Bottle and Cork at Jam Session every Saturday in the summer, or catching Maggie and Carl for a bite and a fancy drink at Blue Coast. They just are real laid back people, and I think they chose this location because they love the nightlife, the culture, the restaurant’s, the beaches, and I appreciate how they take full advantage of it. Most of the time, they are the ones telling me about the shows, happy hours and specials downtown – and I have lived here pretty much my whole life!

So the community itself is pretty awesome, but how about the local area? Having that Rehoboth Beach address must have it’s perks right? What’s the best of the best in Rehoboth?

What kind of question is that? A Rehoboth Beach Address has ALL THE PERKS. First of all the zip code ends in 71, which was a great year (so I am told), but Rehoboth Beach is where all the action is. Name one thing – other than Target – that you need to have accessible to you. Starbucks? Got it, in fact we have 3 of them. Fresh Market Food Stores – Rehoboth, name any clothing brand and it’s probably in the Outlets, I mean the list goes on and on. Everything is here, and it’s within roughly a 4-mile radius of your house!

But I will rapid fire the best of the best in Rehoboth: 1. Dogfish Head 2. Louie’s Pizza, 3. Henlopen City Oyster House, 4 Jam 5. Shorebreak…want me to keep going??

 2018 predictions for Sawgrass North…GO!

AH, More Happy Hours, More Homesites, More Neighbors, More FUN!

Describe Sawgrass North in 3 words. 





Let’s switch gears and talk industry trends, what are people looking for in a new home right now? 

The outdoor living space is always a favorite, but right now we have been seeing a huge demand for Command Centers in the kitchen. So if you haven’t been to our new Shearwater model lately which is the first model to showcase it, you’ll need to come see it for yourself. It is this HUGE island that is all one level, which allows for a ton of workability in the kitchen, provides a ton of storage, and also serves as an additional informal eating space as well. I don’t know what it is, but these command centers are taking our kitchens to a whole new level, they just make a huge statement in the kitchens. It is something we just started doing and people are really digging them.

In your opinion, what sets a Schell Brothers home apart from other builders? 

Undoubtedly our people. There are so many wonderful people that work for Schell and when you make happiness a priority for yourself and those around you, the experience is just completely different from anything you will find anywhere else. We actually track happiness with our customers, how funny is that? In our performance reports there is actually a little graph that tracks happiness—that is how important it is! But I think we have put together a team that is truly dedicated to the customer experience. Our goal is to create ecstatic customers and provide extraordinary building experiences, and you need the right people to accomplish that!

If you had a pick a favorite floor plan at Sawgrass North, which one would it be and why? 

The new Montauk model! We just rolled the floor plan out, and I am obsessed with it. The best way to describe it would be if the Whimbrel and the Sanderling had a baby, it would be the Montauk. It is the perfect size home and has a ton of flexibility. The owners suite is huge, it has the open concept and the kitchen in it is going to rock! It basically has a command center/island hybrid included. It’s a floor plan that was created from customer feedback, so it has a number of possibilities and a really great flow. Also, it has a name that is fun to say—Montauk.

What’s a must-have selection in new homes right now?  

Probably a Bonus Room. Especially for all those Eagles fans out there, because if you guys go to the Super Bowl we are going to need you to keep all your excitement contained to a large, conditioned island above the Garage. We don’t want to hear it.

Final thoughts?

Did you get a haircut?

Holiday Happenings at the Delaware Beaches

By Ali Baker, in All Communities

The holidays are in full swing, and at the Delaware beaches that means our favorite light displays, Christmas parades and holiday happenings are back…and arguably better than ever! It’s a busy month for those of you who love the holiday season as much as we do, and in just the blink of an eye the ball will be dropping and we’ll be celebrating the new year so now is the time to don your Santa hats, hit the holiday party circuit, and let your days be merry and bright!

Christmas Tour of Lewes – Saturday, December 2, 10am-4pm 

One of Lewes’s most beloved traditions returns this weekend, promising a full day of Christmas cheer in Downtown Lewes. The 44th Annual Christmas Tour of Lewes is hosted by The Lewes Historical Society and gives you the unique opportunity to enjoy the historic homes decorated for the holiday season. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of – proceeds benefit The Lewes Historical Society.

Lewes Christmas Parade – Saturday, December 2, 5pm-6:45pm

Leading our local holiday parade circuit is the annual Lewes Christmas Parade, which will celebrate it’s 86th year this Saturday, December 2 starting at 5pm. Bundle up, grab some hot chocolate, and meet us in Historic Downtown Lewes for a an extra helping of holiday magic. The parade begins on Savannah Road at Sussex Drive and will end in front of King’s Ice Cream Shop on Second Street.

Rehoboth Beach Hometown Christmas Parade – Tuesday, December 5, 6:30pm

The holiday fun continues on Tuesday, December 5 for the annual Rehoboth Christmas Parade. A beloved tradition for our team, look for our Schell Brothers float at both the Lewes and Rehoboth parades!

Winter Wonderfest – November 17 – December 31

It’s the most wonderful time of year! The holiday magic returns to Cape Henlopen State Park and the Cape May Lewes Ferry Terminal Grounds this year with Winter Wondefest, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the fun. New this year, is our very own Schellville Christmas Village!

Schellville features 12 tiny houses, each with their own unexpected surprises inside. Drop a note in Santa’s mailbox, enjoy the snow, visit Santa’s Workshop, visit Mistletoe Market or stroll through Schellville Town Hall.

On select dates from November 17 through December 31, join us at Winter Wonderfest and explore our Schellville Christmas Lane for holiday activities and some pretty terrific family photo opportunities before hitting the carnival rides, Santa’s Workshop, the Crooked Hammock Lodge, ice skating rink and more.


Bethany Beach Holiday Happenings – Saturday, December 2, 1pm-3pm

In Bethany Beach, the holiday season will officially begin this Saturday with their annual Holiday Happenings, which includes the 3rd annual tree lighting at 5pm. There’s also Caroling on the Bandstand, December 2, 9, and 16, along with plenty of holiday-inspired shopping fun via the Weekend Wonderland in Bethany.

Winterfest of Lights

Further south in Ocean City, enjoy the 25th anniversary of the beloved Winterfest of Lights! Located on 125th street on the bayside, it’s a family tradition you won’t soon forget. Plus, Santa, hot chocolate, and plenty of festive cheer!

The Rising Trend in Multigenerational Housing

By Ali Baker, in All Communities

multigenerational housing

A question we encounter from time to time in regards to some of our larger floor plans is “who needs all of that house?” or “aren’t retirees downsizing?” or, “who wants a house that big?” The simple answer of course is that everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to their new home, but one factor that many people don’t take into account is the need for a larger house to accommodate family members that may be living with you in the future. That’s right, we’re talking about the growing trend in multigenerational housing.

Empty Nesters Are Finding The Nest To Be Not So Empty

The kids may be rounding out their high school years and heading off to college, but the truth of the matter is, more and more kids are finding themselves in a position where it’s best if they move home for a few years post-college in order to save money for their own home, pay off student loans, or even just to figure out what’s next. As a result, many empty nesters are hesitant to downsize, opting instead to relocate to a maintenance-free home that can still accommodate their visiting (for however long that may be) children.

You’re On Your Own…Or Are You?

Your kids are grown, married, completely moved out, and toting around children of their own, so your home is now entirely your home…right? Well, not entirely. Most likely you’ve found that your kids and grandkids visit often, and that you need more space than you anticipated. Having dual master suites, basements, extra bedrooms, courtyards, and loft spaces allow your visiting family to spread out and enjoy themselves in your new home, while allowing you to keep a little of that privacy and sanity you’ve been looking forward to;)

All In The Family

With longer life expectancies, more and more people are finding themselves opening their homes to their folks later in life. In this instance, apartments, townhouses or 2-bedroom homes may not provide the space your family needs to live comfortably. Instead, ample square footage, low-maintenance living, and ultra energy efficient homes that are built to last become more and more appealing, as do communities that offer ample amenities and activities for you all to enjoy without having to venture too far from home.

Take stock of your life, both what it looks like currently, and also what it could look like in the future. Decide how much square footage you’ll really need, with kids, grandkids, parents, and even your pets in mind. You just might find that more square footage is exactly what your life dictates.

Explore our new home floor plans and find your perfect fit!

Choosing the Right 55+ Community For You

By Ali Baker, in Uncategorized

55+ community

Here’s the scenario: You know you are retiring soon (or even in the next few years) but you’re not sure what that looks like. Moving out of state? Deciding between staying closer to family and friends in the northeast, or committing to being in Florida or Arizona? Downsizing to a town home, or maintaining enough space for family and friends to stay while visiting? Maintaining an active social life? There’s a lot to consider. For those of you who already know that you want to be in an age-restricted 55+ community, the choices are still endless, as you navigate between which community is best suited for you. To make it a little easier, we’ve rounded up a few key considerations when choosing a 55+ community.


For many of you, Delaware is the natural choice, with its tax benefits and proximity to the northeast, but once you’ve decided on Delaware, you still have a lot to consider. Are you someone who wants to be at the beach often, or is toes in the sand not a majority priority? Do you want to have an abundance of restaurants and shopping in close proximity, or are you looking for a community slightly removed from the hustle and bustle, with enough amenities on-site to keep you happily at home in your new community? Do you prefer a more rural feel or are you hoping to be in the heart of the action? Tour the community itself, but also be sure to get a feel for the local area and all that it has to offer.


This is a big one for you social butterflies who don’t want to retire to a life of boredom. Not all 55+ communities offer a vibrant social calendar, so it’s important to inquire about the activities and events at the communities you’re considering. Better yet, talk to the homeowners! A visit to their Facebook page can also reveal some helpful information about what life is like for homeowners year-round.


HOA fees may carry some sticker shock, but not when you consider how much you’re getting in return. For example, at Independence, $312 per month includes your lawn care, trash removal, common ground maintenance, AND all of the amenities, like the clubhouse, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, pickleball courts, and billiards room, to name just a few. Amenities on-site mean less traveling for you, more chances to make new friends, and just another reason to love your new home. When researching communities, check out the full list of amenities, both current and planned, to find the ones that match the lifestyle that you have in mind.

Floor Plans

Of course the most important piece of the puzzle is the actual home itself, which is why you should carefully browse the floor plan options at each community. Make a list of what you’re looking for, be it open floor plans, basement options, ranch-style homes, smaller or larger square footage, space for entertaining, or space for the grandkids. Talk to the sales team about your wish list and your ‘gotta have’ list, they’ll be able to quickly steer you in the right direction and you’ll soon find that there is a perfect community with an equally perfect floor plan waiting for you.

Where We Build

Sold on Schell and the idea of an age-restricted 55+ community? We’re currently building in two 55+ communities at the Delaware beaches, along with one on the very near horizon in Richmond:

Independence: Priced from $284,900 in Millsboro, DE, Independence offers an incredible array of amenities, including the 24,000 sq.ft clubhouse and a full social calendar of year-round activities.

Truitt Homestead: Homes priced from $379,000, Truitt offers maintenance-free living just 1.5 miles from Downtown Rehoboth Beach with a wide array of amenities planned for on-site.

Lake Margaret at The Highlands: Coming soon! A 55+ maintenance-free section of The Highlands in Chesterfield, VA.

Get to Know…Bayside!

By Ali Baker, in Bayside

Between new homes crossing the finish line, lots of new sales, homeowner happy hours, and the grand opening of the new Health and Aquatic Club, it’s been a busy few months at Bayside. Located just a few miles from Fenwick Island, Delaware and Ocean City, Maryland, the award winning, master-planned community is in a world of it’s own, with an incredible lineup of amenities that truly are unlike anything else in the area. But that’s not all! Natalie sat down with us this week to talk about the latest and greatest at Bayside:

Marketing and sales talk aside, what do you think makes Bayside so unique? 

The people and culture here at Bayside make it so unique. There is a really great sense of community. Aside from the community-sponsored events and happy hours we host at our model home, we see members of the community throwing block parties, walking the dogs together, meeting up for happy hour or a game of tennis, getting the kids together to play, etc. We have people move here from all over so it is really great to see everyone quickly become close friends.

There’s certainly a lot of amenities out there to enjoy, which ones would you say are the most popular with the homeowners? 

The Point has always been a favorite spot in Bayside! The Point is located right on the Assawoman Bay so it has gorgeous views of the water and the Ocean City skyline. It is also the location of the kayak launch, fishing/crabbing pier, fire pits, horseshoes, and nature trails. Next summer there will be a brand new outdoor pool with a bar and grill at the Point as well!

That being said, the new Health and Aquatic Club is going to give The Point a run for its money. This facility just opened this fall, and is home to an AMAZING indoor pool and fitness center. It also has a classroom for Bayside Institute’s adult enrichment classes, an aerobics room, locker rooms with saunas, and a JUICE BOX, which serves coffee, sandwiches, acai bowls, and fresh juices and smoothies.

How about the area, Bayside is conveniently located near Ocean City, Fenwick Island, and Bethany beach – what are some of your favorite spots? 

There are sooo many amazing restaurants and fun things to do in the area it’s hard to pick favorites! The SoDel restaurant group has a bunch of great restaurants in Fenwick Island and Bethany, including Catch 54, Papa Grande’s, Northeast Seafood Kitchen, and BlueCoast. I also love Liquid Assets in Ocean City and the new restaurant they opened in Fenwick Island, Our Harvest. My favorite place to eat right now is One Coastal in Fenwick Island, which focuses on sustainability and providing fresh and local ingredients.

For activities in the area, you can’t beat just hitting the beach or kayaking on the bay. Driving on the beach on Assateague Island is a lot of fun, or just driving and walking around the park to see the wild ponies and other wildlife. The Ocean City boardwalk also has a lot of family fun and activities!

You’re one of the few communities to be offering the new Coastal Cottage Series. Tell us a little about these new floor plans. 

The Coastal Cottage homes are perfect for those looking to downsize, just starting out, or looking for a second home. They have the same open and functional feel as our larger single family homes, and we are often told they are “just the right size.”

Describe Bayside in 3 words. 




Let’s switch gears and talk industry trends, what are people looking for in a new home right now? 

“Open Concept.” People are ditching the formal dining rooms and wasted space, and instead opting for an open kitchen/dining/great room space. When entertaining or when the whole family gets together, everyone tends to gather in one space. So having the main living areas be open with a good natural flow is important to many of our homeowners.

In your opinion, what sets a Schell Brothers home apart from other builders? 

The quality construction and energy efficiency are very important aspects that set Schell Brothers apart, but I think it is really our company culture of happiness that makes us so unique: happiness for us as well as our homeowners.

If you had to pick a favorite floor plan at Bayside, which one would it be and why? 

Another unique aspect of Bayside is the ability to build one of our Echelon custom homes, which have a more extensive design process and are always stunning! The Grand Cayman floor plan has recently been revamped, and I love the dramatic high ceilings in the great room on the second level (to enjoy the views) and the rec room on the first level. We have one under construction now, so I am very excited to see it go up!

However if I were to build a home for myself, I love The Jasmine Coastal Cottage floor plan. The kitchen has a great layout and opens right up to the great room. The size of the home somehow feels cozy and open at the same time.

What’s a must-have selection in new homes right now? 

People are loving the outdoor living options – courtyards with screened porches, grills, outdoor fireplaces, and water features. Especially when you live at the beach!

Final thoughts? 

Check out our Facebook page! It’s a great way to see what’s going on here at Bayside and get a feel for the community!


Is Buying New Right for You?

By Ali Baker, in All Communities

buying new

To buy new or not to buy new…that is often the question. Some buyers enter the fray knowing that they want a new home that can be tailored to their specific needs and tastes, while others relish the idea of rolling up their sleeves for a full renovation. But if you’re like many buyers, you might be on the fence as to whether you fall into the former or latter camp, which means it’s time to ask yourself – is buying new right for you?

Sure you’re an avid Fixer Upper fan, and you’ve spent more hours than you might want to admit scrolling through Pinterest saving house projects that you’ll probably never execute on, but at the end of the day, it’s worth seriously asking yourself if you are up for some of the challenges that come along with buying resale, particularly one that you’ll need to put a good amount of effort into.

Ask yourself, do you want a home in which you’ve picked all of the selections and that is catered to your unique lifestyle? Is energy efficiency one of your top priorities? How about an open floor plan with an abundance of natural light? Here are just a few of the benefits of buying new:

The Perfect Fit

For many, looking at houses can be an arduous process filled with “I like this, but hate that,” or “I could maybe live without this, but certainly not that.” When you build new, you build for you! From the upgraded kitchen, to the decision to add a finished basement, to the need for dual first floor master suites, there’s a floor plan that’s perfectly suited for you.

You’re the Boss

Sure you can paint over that hideous Pepto-pink master bathroom or tear out the kitchen cabinets that are a hideously obvious homage to 1970’s style, but when you build new, you start from scratch, selecting your favorites from flooring to cabinetry to paint colors and everything in between. It’s your dream home after all, design it to your liking!

It’s Not Always About Spending Money

With a purchase as big as a home, the idea of simultaneously saving money can be pretty intoxicating, which is why so many people love the idea of securing a new, energy efficient home that will save them money for years to come.

All New…Everything!

That’s right, new means new, including the roof, appliances, doors, windows, and more, meaning you won’t have to shell out $5000 for a new roof or heating/air system anytime soon. Plus, you’ll enjoy the perks of modern conveniences, like built-in appliances, media rooms, or networked wiring systems that are conveniently built behind your walls.

Those New Home Feels

Whether you like knowing that you’re the first inhabitant of your new home or simply love that new home smell, there’s no denying that wonderful new home feel. With a flexible floor plan that you’ve thoughtfully chosen with all of your favorite selections in place, it’s home sweet home indeed!

Interested in exploring our innovative floor plans? How about a list of our new home communities? Explore our website, OR give Sara, our Online Community Consultant, a call: 302-745-9614. She is an amazing source of information for our homes, our communities, and the local areas where we build.


5 Favorite Fall Festivals at the Delaware Beaches

By Ali Baker, in Uncategorized

Pumpkins, mums, the seasonal wardrobe change, and the stress of selecting the perfect Halloween costumes are just a few of the harbingers of the fall season, but there’s also the fall festivals to consider! From the Sea Witch Festival to Apple-Scrapple and everything in between, fall is the perfect time of year to explore Southern Delaware.

Southern Delaware Wine, Food & Music Festival

When: Saturday, October 7, 12pm-4pm

Where: Independence Hall 23767 Samuel Adams Circle, Millsboro DE

First on the agenda is the 3rd Annual SoDel Fest! Benefitting the Cape Henlopen Educational Foundation, Children & Families First Delmarva, and Delaware ProStart, the full-day event features a sampling from some of the best local restaurants paired with 40 wines, craft spirits, and beers from around the world. On top of all that delicious fun, there’s an epic lineup of musical entertainment. Good eats, lively libations, and local music? Sure seems like a perfect way to welcome the fall season!

Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers Festival

When: Friday, October 28- Sunday, October 30

Where: Downtown Rehoboth Beach, DE (various locations)

It’s the 28th year for the annual Sea Witch Festival and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this year’s festivities. Rehoboth Beach turns into Halloween headquarters for three-full days, with costume parades (and that includes a costume pet parade too my friends), an incredible array of activities for the kids, crafts & merchandise, food vendors, and more, including the fiddler’s convention! This is definitely an event that caters to all ages, and one you won’t want to miss this year as we set up our very own Spookacular Kids Zone at !st Street Station. Try your hand at our bean bag toss, decorate a mini-pumpkin, or snap a photo in Dracula’s lair, all while enjoying the festivities free of charge!  But arrive early! Schell Brothers will be providing prizes and trick-or-treat bags while supplies last.

Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival

When: Thursday, October 12 – Sunday, October 15

Where: Various Locations; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

For music lovers, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival is a must. For four days, artists from around the world will converge on our resort beach town. Now in its 28th year, the festival just gets better and better with each passing year. Don’t wait to purchase tickets, many of the shows are already sold out!

Apple-Scrapple Festival

When: Friday, October 13 (opens 4pm) & Saturday, October 14 (open at 9am)

Where: Downtown Bridgeville, DE

For you Delaware-newbies, you might not be familiar with the ever-popular breakfast meat that is a staple around these parts. You also might not be aware that one of the more popular brands, RAPA, got its start in Bridgeville, Delaware in 1926. 25 years ago, the town decided to launch a small festival in honor of their two mainstays, scrapple and apples, and what started as just a few hundred attendees has blossomed into an annual attendance of 25,000! Expect lots of delicious local fare (don’t worry there’s more than apples and scrapple if that’s not your forte), rides, games, and streets jam-packed with over 500 local vendors.

Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival

When: November 2-12

Where: Various Locations; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Now in it’s 20th year, the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival (RBIFF) is the oldest and largest event of its kind in Delaware. A mid-Atlantic fall destination event for film enthusiasts, the 9+ day event offers a wide variety of American and international features, documentaries, and short films. It’s the perfect event to enjoy with family, friends, or even solo when the weather turns cold. And with 9 days of showings, there’s plenty of showtimes for you to catch, but act early, prime tickets go quickly.

We’ve only just scratched the surface on fall fun in our area, but this should get you well on your way to exploring the tastes, sights, and sounds of our beautiful state. Get outside and enjoy it, before old man winter arrives in town to put a damper on the fun…

Get to Know Independence!

By Ali Baker, in Independence


Year-round activities that include yoga, water aerobics, game nights, happy hours, and billiard tournaments; an on-site Activities Director with a full social calendar; indoor and outdoor pools; and a 24,000 sq.ft. clubhouse with a ballroom, bar, and lounge…what’s not to love about life at Independence?!

The 55+ active adult community, located in Millsboro, Delaware, features a full array of amenities that are ready for you to enjoy immediately, which makes it a no-brainer for retirees flocking to Delaware for the tax benefits. But what makes Independence so special? We’ll let Josh Stone from our Community Sales Team tell you himself!

Marketing and sales talk aside, what do you think makes Independence so unique? 

It’s the people who have made Independence home. They are all so vested in the success of the community and in providing a friendly welcoming environment. They also take having a good time very seriously;)

This is a 55+ community, so obviously it’s not for everyone, but for the active adult, why choose Independence? 

I think it is just right. One customer said it’s like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears. Some are too small, some are too big, and Indy is just right. Just the right amount of amenities for what so many of our buyers are looking for. 

There’s certainly a lot of amenities out there to enjoy, which ones would you say are the most popular with the homeowners?

I think there are two. The bar/lounge is very popular and is a focal point for community gatherings every Friday night. It provides a warm, fun, and welcoming environment where they can meet new neighbors and socialize. The other is the indoor pool. As they age, so many people prefer exercising in the pool because it is easier on their joints. Having this amazing indoor pool available year round is a huge plus.

Speaking of the homeowners, tell us a little bit about the sense of community out there.  Do neighbors really become friends? 

Lifelong friends. So many of them are from the Northeast and have so much in common. They come into our model home and see pictures on the wall of each other and they say, “Look! There’s Alvin,” or “Look! There’s Sharon.” There is something for everyone here which creates so many opportunities to meet new friends who share similar interests.

Describe Independence in 3 adjectives. 




Let’s switch gears and talk industry trends, what are people looking for in a new home right now? 

One level living with wider doorways, huge showers, and large open concept living spaces.

In your opinion, what sets a Schell Brothers home apart from other builders?

Everything. Our culture, our commitment to our customers, our building science, our happy customers who refer people to us constantly, and our people.

If you had to pick a favorite floor plan at Independence, which one would it be and why? 

For me it might be different than what the homeowners out here prefer, because I still have children living at home, but definitely The Kingfisher. I LOVE The Kingfisher. But for our customers, The Whimbrel is the rockstar of this community! It is such a perfect size, the owner’s suite is separated from the guest rooms, it is versatile so you can add space where you need it, and it has elegant lines. This floor plan allows our customers to downsize without downgrading.

What’s a must-have selection in new homes right now? 

For the majority of our customers, the big tub is a thing of the past and has been replaced with the sexy shower! The bigger the better. Add multiple shower heads, throw in a bench and a frameless glass door and you’ve got it!

Final thoughts?

Downsizing is hard. It is a mix between getting rid of things they loved, admitting that their children have lives of their own, and leaving the place you’ve called home for many, many years. Finding Independence is refreshing for our customers because:

They aren’t that far from where home used to be (and where the majority  of family and friends still are).

They are surrounded by people just like themselves (who are also fleeing high taxes).

Independence is gorgeous! It feels very luxurious (yet is surprisingly affordable).

(Retirement is scary). Seeing how active and vibrant the homeowner’s at Independence are makes people less worried about the dreaded retirement, and more excited about having fun in the next chapter of their lives!

Want to learn more about life at Independence?

Stop by for a visit: 30174 Ethan Allen Court Millsboro, Delaware 19966. Josh and/or Mollie would love to take you on a tour!

Want to view our floor plans and pricing? Well then, right this way: